North Korea's nuclear express
October 31st, 2011
05:00 AM ET

North Korea's nuclear express

By Senior National Security Producer Suzanne Kelly

The U.S. and North Korean delegations left Geneva last week with no firm plan for re-starting talks aimed at ending Pyongyang's nuclear program - perhaps not surprising, but concerning, given that nuclear experts estimate that North Korea has enough plutonium to arm about a dozen weapons.

Even more concerning is recent evidence of just how quickly North Korea's nuclear program is being developed.

Professor Siegfried Hecker, who helps lead the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University, and advises the U.S. government, is one of the few who have seen the evidence that the North Korean program has progressed enormously since the last official talks ended in 2002.

On a trip to North Korea last November, he saw two things that concerned him.  The first was an experimental light-water reactor (LWR) that appeared to be in the early stages of construction, suggesting that North Korea had mastered the technology to make a LWR on its own.

The LWR could be used to help drive a civilian nuclear power program, but could also be easily adapted to manufacture the material needed for a nuclear bomb. But even that discovery paled in comparison to what else he saw.

Hecker was led by his North Korean handlers into a facility that he described as "ultra-modern" and "clean."  There, before him, were some 2,000 large cylinders lined up as far as he could see.

"It was far beyond my expectations," said Hecker, who has visited the country as an invited expert more than half a dozen times.

Hecker found himself standing on the edge of North Korea's uranium centrifuge facility.  This was the confirmation he needed to conclude that North Korea, indeed, was pursuing a second path to the bomb.

The existence of the uranium centrifuge facility meant that the North Koreans were now able to enrich uranium by using a centrifuge to concentrate it, Hecker explained.  The result is highly-enriched uranium, or HEU, the material needed to make a nuclear bomb that could kill thousands and contaminate swaths of land and sea.

The last time anyone had talked with the North Koreans formally, they had denied having a uranium program.

The centrifuges appeared to Hecker as if they may be second-generation, which would indicate that the North Koreans had made far more progress than anyone had expected since the last formal talks to end the country's nuclear program came to an abrupt halt.

"Just the sight of that many centrifuges and that modern of a facility was just mind-boggling," said Hecker.

The world knew that the North Koreans had a plutonium complex at Yongbyon. Hecker and many other experts had seen it.

But the North Koreans had agreed to freeze that facility and not operate it.  It was a deal Pyongyang struck with the U.S. in exchange for light-water reactors, which could be used to help generate nuclear electricity.

Now that the North Koreans have their own technology, it could change the landscape once again.

"I'm considerably more concerned that they would expand their program," said Hecker.  "Because they've also demonstrated their capacity to take the second route to the bomb, that complicates things enormously."

For Paul Brennan, a senior analyst at the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), the discovery of the uranium centrifuge facility was a confirmation of his worst suspicions.

"Their program was based on plutonium,and that had been the focus for many years," said Brennan.  "There had always been suspicions about a uranium enrichment program and under the Bush administration, they accused North Korea of having an active nuclear enrichment program for nuclear weapons."

Both plutonium and uranium can be used in the development of nuclear weapons.

International experts now have an extremely limited ability to monitor North Korea's uranium enrichment and the possibility that Pyongyang would have the ability to export enriched uranium is a red flag for security officials, because the signature for HEU detection is very small.

"The concern with the uranium enrichment program, is that it is tied to nuclear weapons.  As time goes by, it gives North Korea greater capabilities. Any nuclear program that is allowed to continue and develop, is going to increase their capability," said Brennan.

"And so if they indeed have made HEU, which they at least now have the capacity to do, then the biggest concern I have is that they either export those technologies somewhere else, or that they would export HEU," said Hecker.

It's a concern shared by Robert Gallucci, president of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, who worries that North Korea may sell material, be it plutonium or HEU, or would sell the capability and technology to build a rector, or even sell a nuclear weapon.

"Let's remember that the North Korean's built a plutonium production reactor for Syria.  They built a reactor designed specifically to produce plutonium for nuclear weapons.  This was a reactor with a purpose for producing plutonium for nuclear weapons. That would be operating right now had the Israelis not flattened it," said Gallucci.

"You can't exclude any of these suggestions as fantasy.  This is something to worry about.  This is the thing I would worry about most from a U.S. national security perspective."


Filed under: Diplomacy • North Korea • Nuclear • Six-Party Talks • State Department • Syria
soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. backlinks service

    You know thus significantly with regards to this matter, produced me individually imagine it from numerous numerous angles. Its like women and men don't seem to be interested until it is one thing to accomplish with Lady gaga! Your own stuffs excellent. All the time care for it up!

    April 7, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Reply
  2. brown

    The problem is that NK desperately needs foreign currency and hates the U.S..

    What better way to torment your enemy than to proliferate nuclear technology and perhaps sell
    a bomb or two to the highest bidder. This is the real danger.

    If the U.S.A. makes a move on NK, we had better be prepared to fight the Chinese.

    November 3, 2011 at 11:07 am | Reply
  3. Toaster

    I read these comments and I see absolute pathetic people posting things that make themselves look like complete and utter idiots. My Grandmother fled Korea in the mid 40s because of the Communist uprising, which led to the withdrawal of the Japanese military. I've experienced first hand the horrors of what had happened to my grandmother, left by herself at the age of 17, she had no family, just herself. If anyone were to be a Angry, you'd think it would be my grandmother. But she is not, she is not mad, she is sad and depressed that this act to make their country an independent nation turned into the split of political views. She is sad that so many families have had to deal with the same thing she had to. I see you people post comments stating that we should invade them and slay them all etc. North Korea has is no threat to anyone but the people that live inside the Country. North Korea has over 250 artillery within range of Seoul, wouldn't you think KJI would have made a move by now? You all act as if North Korea is only making situations worse, but they are not. North Korea has actually made incredibly movements towards peaceful unification. They have sent refugees to South Korea, they have stated that North and South Korea should have never been divided, and that they are still a homogeneous people. It truly irritates and infuriates me to see such cruel words come out of a group of people from a nation we supposedly pride ourselves on for our good deeds. This is a message for everyone, please research what you are arguing before stating something, as you will make yourself look like a complete and utter fool.

    November 3, 2011 at 12:35 am | Reply
    • Slow News Day?

      Toaster, I appreciate your story and would ask that you read a bit more of the news surrounding the failed dealings with North Korea and treatment of refugees. In particular China's policys and NK's camps. You also state lack of use of military by North Korea but recent shelling of a near boarder island and the shipping of a ship would counter those statements. As you can read I don't advocate peace at the pont of a gun or human suffering, but I find little to support your view that North Korea is making sincere efforts as you state. Do a quick search on the internet to read news outside the mainstream and also consider visiting a Korean church when they have discussions about North Korea. I agree most views here are ignorant, but I'm stating mine from family, education and visits to Korea going back to the division. I doubt your grandmother would support the current North Korean governent if she considered the lack of freedom, food, controll of the people and the contrasting life of the elite there. By the way, you state the communist uprising that removed the Japanese which misses the Allied forces that pushed the Japanese out of the mainland. Russia was part of this and thus the split in setting up goverments. It's a complex issue, but the area wasn't liberated by a lone national force. You might also go back to ethnic Korean and the old kingdoms to know that the maps of Korea go past the North's boarder with China and out into the sea where islands are disputed with Japan. These "one people" are divided by more lines than North and South. I'll hope you spend some time researching these things.

      November 3, 2011 at 2:30 am | Reply
      • ram

        It is said that the United States have at least 5 caches of chemicals capable of eliminating millions of people at a time, all located around the highly populated negro southern states. Is this true? What happened to the chemicals of mass destruction seized from Khadafy in 2004. Are they in Russia or Fiji or Grenada?
        Stop being self-righteous and respect another country for what it is. If Iran takes money out of the basket of goods and makes bombs, then that is their prerogative, same with North Korea. If the united states wants to take money out of Health care and subsidies to the poor families in Harlem, to fight unwinnable wars, then that is their right. Each one will reap the benefit positive or negative.
        Go eat your frankfurter and be happy that the decay of the united states is fortunately gradual.

        November 3, 2011 at 11:09 pm |
    • Cleeland

      spending money on high tech nuclear products instead of feeding its impoverished people is OK?

      I do not agree, its horrific.

      November 3, 2011 at 9:05 am | Reply
  4. Kman

    Why do we have to police the world? Why can't we live and let live? North Korea will not attack America with nuclear weapons because they know we can wipe them off the planet! Having the ability to do that keeps us safe.

    November 1, 2011 at 10:21 am | Reply
  5. Jack

    The US has mishandled the N. Korea situation since the Korean War. MacArthur wanted to pursue into N.Korean and take control of the situation duing the Korean War. It was the DC administration that refused his request. If MacArthur had his way we would not be in this madness we see at the moment. The situation in N. Korea is not going to get better. It is uncertain how things will be after KJI's death which I hope comes sooner rather than later. The N. Korean administration has created this and N. Korean people have suffered for decades under KJI and his father. It is time to free N. Korea. N. Korean military estlbishment understand only one thing......power and the US along with other Asian alies need to send a clear message and creat a blockade. We need to bring N Korea to its knees even if it risks a war.

    November 1, 2011 at 5:05 am | Reply
    • Slow News Day?

      Actually, MacArthur was anti communist and wanted to run all the way into China to move on Asia and nearly did. China in response sent "volunteers" by the millions to over run the Allied Forces in S.Korea. To this day there's a rift in history lessons as NK reports they single handily defended their country and skip past the massive military support of China in the Korean War. MacArthur in having taken his troops farther than the US Government wanted was immediately removed from command for bringing in China into what was likely a winnable war before that. Historical fact is that the Korean Peninsula has been the best jumping in point to attack Asia. Japan used it very well for the most recent example in the early 20th century. China since the Korean War has maintained NK as a buffer state to prevent an opposing army on their boarder. As China backs North Korea, the US has never left South Korea leaving things in check for over 50 years. It's also in China's interest to maintain the status of North Korea as it creates dependency that maintains land locked for their defense, remember China is just entering the naval aircraft carrier race. In short, I don't see the governments surrounding or a military changing anything in North Korea. It will take the people to change things and there all revolution comes by support of the wealthy and self interested. As Gregpeck will likely negatively point out with his narrow view this means people with money, but what he misses is that recent events show that as information becomes more globally available these revolutions are more by and for the people. A large military response isn't even the method used these days if you compare past decade with more current events.

      November 1, 2011 at 12:02 pm | Reply
    • Toaster

      My grandmother is a North Korean refugee. The worst possible thing the US could do is to create a blockade against North Korea. We have seen how North Korea has reacted to these things, let alone the famine that killed over 3 million people in the mid 1990s. If we were to create a blockade, millions would receive little to no aid that they currently receive, and millions more would parish. The last thing our world wants in another Korean War, let me tell you why. Seoul is home to over 20 million South Koreans. Currently North Korea has over 250 Artillery guns in range of Seoul, meaning that if war was to occur, Seoul would be destroyed in minutes to hours and millions would be killed. The US is handling this the best they can, and it isn't our job to do so. If the US really wanted to solve this issue, they would speak through China, as China has the biggest influence on North Korea. Please do a little research before you blatantly speak like a numb skull. It irritates me tremendously to see people talk about this issue knowing nothing of it.

      November 3, 2011 at 12:26 am | Reply
    • ram

      If Atilla the Hun had continued his conquests and not called back home for some stupid reason, you may have been speaking an "unciviliZed language". Don't you think there is an equilibrium point in warfare? The fact that your General did not go as far as China when he had the chance to, does not make him great or the american people greater and "could have done it"
      When Upper Canada sacked Washington, the only country to win the united states in hand to hand battle, they left and returned home. They did not stay on as oppressors or "train the police force" There are a lot of if's that we could think about. If Hitler did not have the dream to have the Luftwaffe destroy the enemy single handed, (which was delayed) you may have been speaking german. Have a good day and live and let live.

      November 3, 2011 at 11:30 pm | Reply
      • ChurchBrimmer

        The Burning of Washington? That was't Canada bub, that was the Brits on August 24 1812, Canada was declared a confederation on July 1, 1867. 2 years after the American Civil War. You preach that others need to do research first perhapse you should do some yourself. By the way the War of 1812 had no clear "winner" as if anybody could win from war.

        November 16, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
  6. Damn.

    If the world spent as much resources on developing renewable energy as it did on developing the worlds most destructive bomb, we would have sent a spaceship to Pandora and back by now. The U.S. needs to set an example for the rest of the world by developing its nuclear ENERGY program. Though not technically a renewable resource, nuclear fusion energy could solve a lot of the world's problems. For example, turning saltwater into drinkable water. Think about that the next time you vote!

    November 1, 2011 at 12:52 am | Reply
    • ram

      The legislators would lose the Jewish votes and hence no money to run the campaign. So Americans have to put pressure on their representatives, the 1% or the 99%? America and the west need a new start, which will see a decrease in incomes and level of utility...but we have to bite the bullet now or later on we will all suffer, including the animals, except the house-fly.

      November 3, 2011 at 11:45 pm | Reply
  7. Chicagorich

    It would seem unlikely to me that North Korea, Iran, Syria, and other countries would not pursue a nuclear program as quickly as they can manage. History shows they have little to lose by having one, and a lot to gain. We intervened in Iraq and Libya which did not have nuclear weapons, but did not in North Korea, even after we knew that the government there actively spread the technology by building a reactor to make weapons for the Syrians. The only country we have had military action within that has nuclear weapons is Pakistan, and that was not for the purpose of destabilizing the government there, but to kill terrorists that were a threat to both them and us.

    November 1, 2011 at 12:07 am | Reply
    • Gregpeck

      Well said Mr. Rich – the axis of evil – this axis that GWB spoke of before his illegal war on Iraq – have learned that they cannot just sit idle while the west screams obsenities and lies at them to create western order – lets get rid of all nuclear weapons and focus on diplomacy. In Syria, there is an opposition bent on overthrowing Assad – hoping that Nato will come and save the day for them – they saw Libya and the UN learned from their mistake – that mistake of allowing Nato access will never be made again – they abused their power and we have seen the race for oil contracts – replace the leader and all previous contracts become null and void – Iraq will be on their own with private security contractors – is it all about money and feeding the Industrial Military Complex?

      November 1, 2011 at 12:18 am | Reply
  8. Steven

    O.K. All you idiots on here pray to your God for protection, in the meantime can we please put a plan together to destroy these facilities and their contents.
    P.S. if they leak into N.K. then so be it. They produced it let them eat it.

    October 31, 2011 at 11:27 pm | Reply
  9. pulsars

    Okay... If North Korea builds a nuclear weapon, that will be an impressive technological feat – but if they REALLY want to impress me, they could do something about kim jong il's yellow teeth! YUCK!!

    October 31, 2011 at 10:33 pm | Reply
    • daniel

      i think Kim Jone ILL built all those things just to get attention from US. why else would they bark whenever they do anything nuclear? He want handouts. its like a bum with a huge begging bowl.

      October 31, 2011 at 11:12 pm | Reply
      • Gregpeck

        Yes but he also has some pretty intense Generals that are bent on war – I would think this to be the godfather of all wars yet. But I am not sure. I am also not sure if he only thinks of America – this is more of a US thing – thinking their country is the center of the unniverse – it might be China and could be Russia and maybe even Pakistan as well. Who knows – if Greece leaves the EuroZone – they might have some compassion and resolve this thing once and for all. Is it war we want?

        November 1, 2011 at 12:08 am |
      • ram

        If you call nuclear technology a begging bowl, why are you going after Iran?

        November 3, 2011 at 11:52 pm |
    • Gregpeck

      he chews on the yellow cake used to make enriched uranium – you know the one that Niger sold them – Britain knows about this. I wonder if they use flouride in their water sources? Flouride may brighten your teeth but ingesting this may cause you other troubles – like wanting to start unnecessary wars, for instance. He is not starring in Hollywood movies yet – he does not look like Perry or Arnold – he probably does go to a dentist though. Lets make plans though – diplomacy is a good start – Japan could help them with any leaking issues if those issues do arise – maybe more war rehearsals are needed to solidify a plan – that way people wont head for the hills when missiles start flying.

      November 1, 2011 at 12:01 am | Reply
  10. RCDC

    There is no easy answer to the problem. But I do know God is great and will punish the weaked. Sooner or later they will see God wrath if they don't repent and follow the words of God.
    John 3:36 "He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall NOT SEE LIFE, but the WRATH OF GOD ABIDES on him"

    October 31, 2011 at 10:02 pm | Reply
    • Gregpeck

      send Pat Roberston – his message from God will I'm sure convince many – it worked in America – they gave him a network. God protects the people – the innocent people – not those who falsely preach. Who is evil and who is good? You think that you can go into a nation, under God, and destroy this nation under false pretenses? Learn to tolerate your enemy – learn forgiveness and practice humility – your thirst for blood will never be quenched. Stop the insanity.

      October 31, 2011 at 10:15 pm | Reply
    • jack

      do you have a real solution? quoting scripture is getting quite old.

      October 31, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Reply
    • daniel

      Yesssss! WRATH OF GOD IS COMING KIM JONE ILL!

      October 31, 2011 at 11:08 pm | Reply
    • Yeah...

      Except it seems that so many of the "wicked" go unpunished by God and more so by the U.S. government. Example: Bin Laden was punished by the Navy SEALS, not God. No, I do not believe God had anything to do with the planning and execution of the operation that took down Osama Bin Laden. I would rather put my faith into the rationale of humans. Religion seems to cloud everything. Even more so than the U.S. government does. BAM!

      November 1, 2011 at 12:26 am | Reply
  11. Guy K.

    Even though North would invade south . I think it would be worth the cost if we went in and finally ended that little dictators reign and flattened the facilities to make, store or supply themselves or others with nukes or materials. It's only a matter of time before they sell one to Islamic nut cases. If that happens what will we do then ??

    October 31, 2011 at 8:16 pm | Reply
    • Gregpeck

      I would not think that to be possible – Seoul would be wiped off the face of the earth, if that were to happen. What kind of logic do you use to base decisions – Choose another option

      October 31, 2011 at 9:39 pm | Reply
    • ram

      Start making IED's.

      November 3, 2011 at 11:56 pm | Reply
  12. GODis

    Since I have been alive, and that's for over 50 years now. I have seen so many deals with North Korea to end their aggression, and find a peaceful solution to the North South question that it defies the imagination of any intelligent person. Every single deal was proved in the end a stall tactic, while North Korea pursued their nuclear program.
    So today, we stand essentially where we started 50 years ago with the exception that North Korea now has nuclear weapons and a massive, well trained, well equipped military.
    I for one say no more. Do not deal with them. Give them no aid that will only go to feed their military. Tell them straight out we are fed up with their lies, and any aggression will be met with swift and brutal retaliation. That is all they understand, that is all they have been taught. Anything else is a waste of time, and tax payers dollars. Only the North Korean people can end this madness. We should concentrate on telling them how it really is on the outside, and supporting them in the ways that will help them win their freedom. Many good people will die to achieve this, many already have, but once again if freedom is worth having it’s worth fighting for.

    October 31, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Reply
    • Slow News Day?

      "Only the North Korean people can end this madness. We should concentrate on telling them how it really is on the outside, and supporting them in the ways that will help them win their freedom." AMEN!!

      October 31, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Reply
      • Gregpeck

        and how might we send in this information – through kelloggs boxes or big mac promotions

        October 31, 2011 at 9:42 pm |
      • Gary

        Because North Korean people would get slaughtered for speaking out against the government. It's that simple.

        November 1, 2011 at 4:52 am |
    • Gregpeck

      you must have watched alot of MASH

      October 31, 2011 at 9:37 pm | Reply
      • GODis

        I did like the television series, however I do realize it was just that, a television series. I leave the methods of how to get the message across to bright people like you. Maybe laser writing on the moon, vulcan mind meld, how the heck should I know. Stop being so negative.

        November 1, 2011 at 10:38 am |
    • ram

      Have you any idea how many UN resolutions were ignored by Israel for fifty years, Israel, the amicus bonus of the american government? North Korea is not aggressive. They test out their equipment. America tested out their equipment in the Asian-Pacific area during the Myanmar crisis (aggravation?), Just this week, Israel tested out their rockets, France tested their equipment in Tahiti in the seventies, Iran tested out their rockets...What's the problem? Are you biased?

      November 4, 2011 at 12:04 am | Reply
  13. GODis

    Since I have been alive, and that's for over 50 years now. I have seen so many deals with North Korea to end their aggression, and find a peaceful solution to the North South question that it defies the imagination of any intelligent person. Every single deal was proved in the end a stall tactic, while North Korea pursued their nuclear program.
    So today, we stand essentially where we started 50 years ago with the exception that North Korea now has nuclear weapons and a massive, well trained, well equipped military.
    I for one say no more. Do not deal with them. Give them no aid that will only go to feed their military. Tell them straight out we are feed up with their lies, and any aggression will be met with swift and brutal retaliation. That is all they understand, that is all they have been taught. Anything else is a waste of time, and tax payers dollars. Only the North Korean people can end this madness. We should concentrate on telling them how it really is on the outside, and supporting them in the ways that will help them win their freedom. Many good people will die to achieve this, many already have, but once again if freedom is worth having it’s worth fighting for.

    October 31, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Reply
    • Jheimy

      Sue, I read your recipe-blog quite often beucase I like good food cooking/eating, although I havent yet gotten around to cooking here in SK. But when I do start, I'm sure it would be easier knowing so much about various ingredients & preparations as you've described. Thanks!I enjoy the style in which you present the preparations and the lucidity of steps involved. Mostly I really appreciate the pictures, simply beucase looking at a picture gives a much better idea than words alone. I hope you'd be able to keep adding recipes while you're down-under and someday there'll be a fabulous recipe book for the expats here in Korea. Best wishes!

      November 11, 2012 at 4:25 am | Reply
  14. paul1121

    Why the US has nukes? Thats an easy one. The US developed and dropped 2 nuclear bombs on Japan because if the US invaded Japan, it would have been a more costly death toll on US soldiers plus it brought a speedy end to the Pacific War.

    Would the US use nukes again? I dont think ever in an offensive roll again; just because the US citizens would not stand for that. As a lot of agitators of every degree like to bash the US with lies, misinformation and convenient anti-US stories, remember, the US is citizens are still in charge of our government; even during these hard times.

    October 31, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Reply
    • Gregpeck

      do you think if the Americans displayed the power of the bomb without killing the civilians they might of sent the same message for Japan to surrender? Or was it necessary to kill all those people? We should rid the world of these horrible weapons – we should give peace a chance.

      October 31, 2011 at 9:47 pm | Reply
      • dplunkett

        we did give peace a chance before we dropped those bombs, we waived the treaty at them told them to sign or else they pay, after two bombs they signed to end the war

        November 2, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
    • ram

      You are a dreamer. The govenment is run by the senate etc. and the senate et al are controlled by the wealthy few. Where do the people come in? They are just puppets who ratify the wishes of the wealthy. The President, has very little power to make a big impression on chanages, as seen in the last 2 years. For this reason, all Presidents that want to make a mark in History declare war against some frail state, in order to stamp himself as a war president. Only in this situation, he is king...So, America has to go to wars for two reasons, the make the king and to enrich the investors of the military weaponry producers.

      November 4, 2011 at 12:12 am | Reply
  15. Basil

    So.... what about U.S:A ...they also have nukes... why istn't anyone preasuring them??

    October 31, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Reply
    • Slow News Day?

      While I don't see comment of anti-US statements... I would point to http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/us/2011/10/30/natvo-occupy-protest-arrests.cnn for some doubt as to who is running the country. We to have problems with government and we do have nuclear weapons. Difference is that "we the people" voice our opinions to government and the world to keep government in check. North Korea appears not to have this mechanism and I'll hope the US never looses its.

      October 31, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Reply
    • Gregpeck

      not allowed – for american reasons of national security

      October 31, 2011 at 10:18 pm | Reply
    • Gary

      Basil..., because America does not have insane dictators.

      November 1, 2011 at 4:50 am | Reply
    • ram

      Because, western europe has been sold on the idea that America saved them in the second world war. But this is far from the truth. The British, under Sir Winston Churchill held the Germans at bay, with the help of Canada, Australia, Burma, Barbados, all african countries, India, Pakistan, all of the west indian islands under british rule, all of the pacific islands under british rule and the list goes on and on. you can see a list of soldiers who died in the second world war from these countries in the post offices of most of them or in their records. Americans also believe this (they won the war) to be true so that is why we have this american arrogance. While the world was working on the war process for years, america had a few years to prepare for their contribution..so they came in fresh as a daisy, helped and got the award. ,,and this award expectation lives to this day. They just managed the takeover of Libya but they will try to get the Lion's share of the oil. Sad day for Sarkosy, the surrogate american. The western man does not even realize that Russia was the stalwart in this final WW2 operation. They will never know and may god bless their ignorance.

      November 4, 2011 at 12:27 am | Reply
  16. Slow News Day?

    Aside from the offensive naming of the first post removing intelligence from the comment. This information of Hecker's visit is from January of 2011 blended in with at recent two sentence mention of talks in Geneva in October. Then it skips the concerns for food in North Korea, lack of aid and change in leadership during. Then there's China's continued backing of North Korea, plus the country's dismal economy. I'd liken it to an African country with pirates if the military and elite weren't so in control. Short of war with China and North Korea (again) little is going to change without the people of North Korea making it happen. It would be better to bomb leaflets, block their media and broadcast real global news than expect a change at the point of a gun or alarmist news reporting.

    October 31, 2011 at 12:20 pm | Reply
    • Gregpeck

      Im sure the people of North Korea tune into CNN America on a daily basis – what would you tell the people of North Korea and China – Join us? Join the OWS movement? What has changed now since after WWII – the War Games with South Korea? Have they done enough rehearsing and now ready for the real deal? Send over Rush and Wolf – maybe they can get a show on local radio there. Why dont you start up a mass mailing – 3'rd class mail or send more people in via the river.......

      October 31, 2011 at 10:03 pm | Reply
  17. Ban the Koran

    I said it before and I will say it again...The policy should be simple.

    we tell them you let our inspectors in to verify you are not creating nuke bombs or we blow up whatever facilities we suspect are doing that. The price that will b epaid is too high to let thiese little piss pot dictatorships hide behind "sovreignty".

    October 31, 2011 at 8:11 am | Reply
    • Gregpeck

      our inspectors – whose? – the IAEA or american spies – what are you talking about – the North Koreans are not stupid people – they dont fear these threats – who is going to blow up who? Time to visit the Peace train – they saw what happened to Qaddaffi – they wont make the same mistakes and give up their nukes. It seems that having nukes is what gives them dialogue with the West – something we dont yet see in Iran.

      October 31, 2011 at 9:54 pm | Reply
    • ram

      American government hides behind a handshake, a smile and bribery via World Bank, UN, security council, etc and in the end they put a screw in your atriplesss. One of its departments is king of sabotaging other sovereignties. Each sovereign nation has to look after its security. This is the main thrust of the american government...security for americans. Well, Iranian government is looking after the security of its people, so is Russia, so is Britain, so is China, So is Japan and yes, so is North Korea.

      November 4, 2011 at 12:36 am | Reply
      • Slow News Day?

        Ram, I hope Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is paying you five cents per word or KCNA is sending you a flower basket for the mimicking of their rants. On the "fight with Canada" you're talking about the Oregon Territory that was at the time jointly occupied by the US and Britain. Go read about President Polk and his campaign slogan "54 or fight", and the political compromise without conflict that set the 49 degree boarder of the US WITH BRITAIN. If you're slow the area is called British Columbia inside Canada today for historical reference. The U.S. cancelled its offensive biological weapons program by executive order in November 1969 (microorganisms) and February 1970 (toxins) and ordered the destruction of all offensive biological weapons, which occurred between May 1971 and February 1973. The U.S. ratified the Geneva Protocol on January 22, 1975. The U.S. ratified the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) which came into effect in March 1975.[Kissinger 1969]. On November 25, 1969, President Richard Nixon unilaterally renounced the first use of chemical weapons and renounced all methods of biological warfare. The U.S. began to research safer disposal methods for chemical weapons in the 1970s, destroying several thousand tons of mustard gas by incineration at Rocky Mountain Arsenal and nearly 4,200 tons of nerve agent by chemical neutralization at Tooele Army Depot and Rocky Mountain Arsenal. The U.S. began stockpile reductions in the 1980s, removing some outdated munitions and destroying its entire stock of BZ beginning in 1988. In June 1990, Johnston Atoll Chemical Agent Disposal System began destruction of chemical agents stored on Johnston Atoll in the Pacific, seven years before the Chemical Weapons Treaty came into effect. In 1986 President Ronald Reagan made an agreement with Chancellor Helmut Kohl to remove the U.S. stockpile of chemicals weapons from Germany. In May 1991, President George H.W. Bush unilaterally committed the United States to destroying all chemical weapons and renounced the right to chemical weapon retaliation. In 1993, the United States signed the Chemical Weapons Treaty, which required the destruction of all chemical weapon agents, dispersal systems, chemical weapons production facilities by April 2012. As you can see the US is destroying these weapons for global good, and you're arguing the right of other to build more? Why would we destroy these weapons? The people of the US don't want them as well! You're use of "negro" is something offensive as Black or African American is the accepted term, please update your dictionary/dogma textbook. Additionally, the US is a mixed nation in race, so while populations of some "races" might increase in areas it doesn't separate them form the general mixed population, so your rant about chemical location to offset harm to certain groups is just wrong. As for the UN, I have yet to see China or Russia avoid using their powers to protect allies in the same matter as the US. While I hope to see Pakistan recognized the long divided Taiwan is causing much less fuss in such matters, but China & Taiwan are not religiously charged against each other either and in general see each other as the same people.
        As to the opinions you state: On Korea, pick up a book. Go to the country, talk to the people there and from there. Get some political philosophy as to what gives a government the rights and drop the religion, drop the money questions, and ask how do these people lead, is it right? If not please speak up! I don't say the US is perfect, but we the people have the right to protest and to vote out leaders that don't serve the public interest. Thank you for pointing out that we are using this right and stating that the 99% are angry. Self serving dictators with life long offices who hold their people under tight control and punishment, I find more flawed. That's not to say a dictatorship can't be a good government, kings can be KINGS, and so on with the right teachings and practices following values found in cultures and religions commonly called the "golden rules". And YES the leaders of the US might not follow this at various points in history, but there are term limits, the right to vote and the right to protest to toss those people out. I'll hope Mahmoud Ahmadinejad leaves political office in 2013 and does not keep going like Vladimir Putin, or worse a Communist Feudal system of Kim's and Castro's.
        Anyway, I hope you start to get some facts and if you want to reply in rants to everyone commenting and that someone is paying you given the time that takes.

        November 4, 2011 at 12:01 pm |

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.